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Social media is an area which business owners either embrace or neglect. It’s a minefield that can be tricky to navigate, especially if you are not tech savvy, and that’s partly because the nature of the platforms is constantly changing. The bigger names on the high street will more than likely have a dedicated team to pump out and monitor content but as an independent retailer you might even be asking the question – why should I spend the time to being online? The reality is only you can answer that question. But if it’s an avenue you want to explore, here are 3 top tips to help your business stand out on social media.

Seize the opportunity

Knowing where to start is always tricky but engaging (or even starting your own) local business groups is a great place to start. This opens an opportunity to build relationships both locally and nationally, with other small businesses and more importantly customers. Just don’t forget this kind of relationship should be two-way. What’s more, some of our Members have told us that when they feel more engaged with their local community it helps to reduce the likelihood of them being the victims of crime.

Another avenue to explore is to join in on specific dates related to your market. Are you an independent travel agent? Try #traveltuesday. Stock stationery? Try #stationerysaturday. There are so many to use and the best way to find them is to delve into the platforms and search.

Be inspired

Social media is a fantastic inspirational tool and if you like what a business is doing – tell them! Share, retweet or leave them a comment on their posts and tweets. What’s even more important about this is it shouldn’t be limited to small businesses, you can use social media to keep an eye on the well-known businesses in the market and current trends to feedback into your business.

Work out what works for you

Every business is different and it’s important to share that online. Don’t be afraid to stand out. As an independent you will not have the same funds as the larger competition so it’s a perfect opportunity to get creative. The underlying note here is that not every channel is where you should be. Yes, you could get more awareness and results being on more than one channel, but your time is precious and so focus on the channel which brings you the best results. It’s trial and error to get it right so don’t be disheartened if you don’t get it right first time. For example, our convenience store members find that twitter is the most effective channel for announcing promotions and generating footfall whereas florists and gift retailers find that the best results come from the more visual channels, such as Instagram.

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